One Pot Lemon Chicken and Orzo

We are back with another one pot favorite.  Easy, fast and most of the time is “hands off.”  A healthy and delicious way to start the new school year!

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5 from 1 vote

One Pot Lemon Chicken and Orzo

Course: Main Course
Keyword: High Protein, Weeknight Meals
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Denise


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 black pepper
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups baby spinach stems removed

To Serve:

  • Fresh thyme or basil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large cast iron or oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add a splash of olive oil. Allow to heat for a moment and then add seasoned chicken. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice around chicken. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes. Flip chicken and cook 3-4 minutes on other side. Note, if chicken doesn’t easily flip or sticks to pan, it’s not yet ready to flip.
  • Remove chicken from heat and set aside (note, chicken is not fully cooked at this time). Melt butter in pan. Add shallots and garlic to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Deglaze pan with a few tablespoons of chicken broth, scraping off brown bits. Add orzo and slightly brown, roughly 2-3 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth, heavy cream and all dried herbs. Gently mix around to incorporate. Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Mix well. Gently nestle chicken back into pan. Slice one lemon into six thin slices and place one slice atop each chicken breast.
  • Place pan in oven and cook 20-25 minutes. Internal temperature of chicken should read 165 degrees. Be careful when removing pan from oven as it will be extremely hot. Add spinach plus zest and juice of remaining lemon to pan and gently mix in, working around the chicken. The heat will soften and start to wilt spinach. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve by plating orzo mixture and topping with chicken. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.
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